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Dub Hub: Steve Kerr felt the Warriors got ‘demoralized’ in loss vs. Heat

Rounding up all Warriors and NBA related news for Friday, December 29th.

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Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Warriors News:

Steve Kerr’s reaction to 114-102 loss vs. Heat: “We got out-coached, out-worked, and out-played“

Kawakami: Can Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga play together, and what will the Warriors do if they can’t? | The Athletic

Which brings us back to the Kuminga/Wiggins question. To turn this issue around a bit, Kuminga and Wiggins could be the Warriors’ two most attractive trade assets in a few weeks. If the Warriors pair Kuminga with Paul’s expiring contract, could they get a two-way wing like Toronto’s OG Anunoby or Pascal Siakam to help them in a playoff run? Or would Wiggins, a Canadian, be interesting to the Raptors? There are risks there, too, since both Raptors forwards can become free agents this summer, but that’s the level of player the Warriors almost certainly would be seeking.

Side note: Though I’ve said in the past that the Warriors might be reluctant to trade Wiggins so soon after he signed a relatively bargain-rate contract extension specifically so he could remain with this team, I’ve since heard that this would not be a major barrier for the Warriors to explore Wiggins’ trade market. Especially if he can’t play with Kuminga and the Warriors decide that Kuminga is their full-time small forward.

What Podz jokingly tells Steph about drawing Harden-like foul calls | NBC Sports Bay Area

Podziemski also revealed his welcome-to-the-NBA moment: Adjusting to treatment from refs that’s different than the game’s big-name players, such as Harden and other Clippers.

“If I’ve had one [welcome-to-the-league moment], I will say dealing with the referees,” Podziemski told Johnson and Poole. “The foul that I got called on Kawhi [Leonard] at home. [Los Angeles] challenged it and obviously we won it because it wasn’t even remotely close. But just to see, like, ‘Wow, that’s the type of calls [stars] get, that was not even close,’ it’s something cool.”

How Kerr fueled Jackson-Davis, Warriors’ rebounding success | NBC Sports Bay Area

At Warriors practice on Wednesday, the flourishing 23-year-old explained the reason behind his and the team’s outstanding rebounding.

“I think the biggest thing for us, honestly, is our coach [Steve Kerr] just continues to tell us constantly to crash,” Jackson-Davis told reporters. “It’s either crash or get back. And he doesn’t allow guards not to. Guards can crash. You see [Brandin Podziemski] in there all the time getting rebounds, and our guards crashing is actually huge for us as well.

“I think when you have guards and bigs that are all crashing the glass, one guy back, it really puts pressure on the defense and gets rebounds.”

Rookie Brandin Podziemski blames himself for Thursday’s loss

NBA News:

Pistons tie 76ers for longest overall losing streak at 28 games | ESPN

Detroit, a 16.5-point underdog after losing 27 consecutive games, found itself leading Boston — the NBA’s best team with a perfect 14-0 record at TD Garden — by 19 points.

Then the second half began. And as quickly as Detroit had taken control of the game, Boston surged right back into it. By the end of the third quarter, the Celtics had erased that halftime deficit. And despite the Pistons fighting back valiantly to force overtime, ultimately it was Boston that would claim a 128-122 victory.

With the defeat, the Pistons tied the 76ers for the longest overall losing streak, which Philadelphia set across the end of the 2014-15 season and the beginning of the 2015-16 campaign with 28 consecutive losses. The Pistons can set a new record for futility on Saturday, when they face the Toronto Raptors back home in Detroit.

Does the NBA Have a Free Throw Problem? | The Ringer

Last season, the 15 All-NBA players had an average free throw rate of 42 percent, meaning they attempted 42 percent as many free throws as field goals. For comparison, the overall average for All-NBA players in league history is 40 percent. Modern stars aren’t receiving more calls than their predecessors did.

Granted, some stars benefit from trips to the line more than others. Ironically, given the impetus for Kerr’s comments, Jokic is a terrible example to highlight. His 18 attempts on Christmas tied a career high; 46 other active players have attempted more free throws in a game. And the Nuggets as a team rank just 26th in free throw rate this season. (They were 20th en route to a title last season.)

Positive injury update for Bulls’ point guard Lonzo Ball

In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:

Player grades: Warriors vs. Heat

Steph Curry

32 minutes, 13 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 3-for-15 shooting, 2-for-8 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 36.8% TS, -14

I’ll say this much: Curry didn’t do many outright bad things this game. He didn’t have head-scratching turnovers or annoying fouls. He didn’t make any bad mistakes or take the team out of the game.

He also didn’t play well. At all.

Grade: D

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in points.

Wiggins-Kuminga pairing is Warriors’ biggest question mark

The Warriors would likely love to be able to play the two together, but they’ve got to either shoot better, or rebound better - ideally both. There’s more space in potential rotations if they can realistically play power forward, since the Warriors have plenty of small guards, Draymond Green can play center once he’s back, and Klay Thompson is essentially a small forward now. But Kerr is almost always going to lean on veterans over a 21-year-old, so the pressure is higher on Kuminga.

Tweets to end the week:

Follow @unstoppablebaby on Twitter for all the latest news on the Golden State Warriors.

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